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Old 11-28-2011, 09:42 PM   #301
The Walrus
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All over. Just pick the one that all the locals are eating at.

As to the thing 2 crash that was crazy. Riding straight and the tire rolls off the bead and I find myself headed toward a ditch with no steering. Only thing to do was ride it to the ground.
Did it need a new piston..............yet...............?
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The Walrus screwed with this post 11-28-2011 at 09:51 PM
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:16 PM   #302
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Go Time

We were up at 5:30 getting ready for the day. The crew headed out the van and got the bike ready while I packed down some breakfast and energy bars. Out by the bike I packed down one more early morning sandwich.


We had the gratuitous team shot with beechum1, frog, myself and Jim. We were ready for the day...


Resetting the GPS on the line. You can see the dual camelbaks where I was running one with Perpetuem and one with water.



I was surprisingly calm. At every event I've ever raced I've always been a touch nervous at the beginning and just ready for things to start. I think since I knew it was going to be a long day and I didn't need to ride 100% out of the gate it just made it easier to get everything going. The MX woman from Japan (Megumi Shiono) in the spot in front of me was really nervous and jumping all over. She kept saying to me "take care of me" to which I replied, in a very sophisticated way, "ok". She was on a factory honda 450x with FI. I took a peek :)

Dumbgirl and I strolled down to take a look at the fast boys.


The sun finally came up!


Soon the flag dropped and I was ripping down the pavement trying to pinch myself that I was really starting the Baja 1000. Then the pavement ended and the dirt began...
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:27 PM   #303
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Awesome!!

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Old 12-03-2011, 06:41 AM   #304
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Sorry about the delay in updates. Still trying to catch up after getting back.

I dropped into the wash and by the second bridge I was pretty close behind the Japan MX woman who was definitely riding pretty tight. She tried to go right in the mud to get to the concrete pad that bypassed the big mud puddle and she lost the rear end and slid out into the mud. I pulled up next to her and started yelling at the crowd to give her a hand. Some people flooded out and started dragging her bike up so I figured I'd done my part to 'take care of her' and I raced on up the wash.

Getting out of town was amazing and at one point I was wide open on a road heading out of town and I realized than the speed on pavement was supposed to be less than 60 MPH. I didn't remember that applying to the roads in town so I slowed down.

The fog picked up out of town and in the rolling hills there were people and fires all along the ascent to Ojos Negros. The fog was so thick at one point that I started to get large water drops cascading off my helmet. I couldn't tell it it was raining.


This is not my video, but if you haven't seen it, it paints a great picture of the start of the race.


Meanwhile my crew left before the start of the race to be able to make it to our first meeting spot at RM70.

The early morning fog.

They were able to catch the pros coming through.


1x thundering through


Helicopter spying up above


Coming out of Ojos the sun broke out and the trails got faster. This was a really fun part of the course with fast sandy straights and bermed corners. I was having a total blast, especially as the Heli kept flying above.


Before I knew it I was at RM 70 and Dumbgirl was standing in the middle of Mexico 3 waving me down. I was having an absolute blast.



We got a little fuel in the body and bike and had a change of goggles.


Back off down the road.


A woman ran across the street right as I accelerated away from the side of the road.


Thought I didn't know it, Dumbgirl was taking notes at the pits. She even recorded the in/out times which is cool to see in hindsight, but also reminds me I was really taking my time at the pits...mostly eating the whole time.

Pit#2 RM70 Time In: 9:14, Time Out: 9:24.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:11 AM   #305
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Tires

Having never tried Mousse or tire balls, how did the bike handle at race speed? Is it truly noticeable? I am sure not having to worry about flats is a great relief.

Also, I tried to post the RM and time when I could verify from your SPOT and a race map exactly where you were.

Interesting how calm you seem to be.

Doug
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #306
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:22 PM   #307
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The summit

Bib Mousse - I ran Bib's at V2R in both the front and rear ONLY because someone sold me a front/rear set that was taken off of a showroom bike. Even at V2R with the higher speeds the F/R combo worked great for me and I used the same rear Bib at Baja. The rear is good for more riding, but the front is pretty close to done. The wheels are heavier with the Bibs and you definitely notice it in the rocks as the suspension has a noticeably dull feel. However, the peace of mind of charging any rocks (or hitting hidden rocks) with no worries is a total dream. I'd never do a serious distance event without a Bib in the front at least.

RM System - The difficulty for the chase team is that they never really know the location of the rider. The can estimate when the rider will come in, but it becomes a mystery and waiting game. For the race, we had a few people back at home (Mrs. Frog, BArnold99, and Fano) watching my SPOT and then sending SMS's to the chase vehicle Sat Phone (incoming SMS's are free!) indicating race mile (they got by looking at my SPOT and comparing to the SCORE race map) and time. That way the chase crew knew my progress and would be alerted if I ever stopped (I didn't). BArnold99 pulled an all-nighter giving updates and went the extra mile by downloading the SCORE .gpx file and using that to get exact RM #'s.

As I said before, I was relaxed the whole ride and just focusing on the finish. I think that helped me stay focused and relax. I had an amazing ride.

Anyway, back to the story.

After eating, dumping my jacket (I was plenty warm!), getting clean goggles, I left the pit and told the crew I'd see them in 120 miles or so. Frog and I had pre-run RM70 - 100 so I knew what was up ahead and I was stoked at the section. It was twisty, sandy, flowy, whoopy fun fun fun stuff that was just a total blast to ride. The spectators probably thought some kind of deranged person was riding for all of the laughing I was doing in the section.

About RM100 the course headed east and the terrain got really nasty. Lots of tight rocky parts as the trail gained elevation towards the summit. This was the time I began to think that some of my riding buddies from the east may want to reconsider their Baja dreams. The terrain was pounding and there were lots of places to catch a rock. As the trail climbed further it seemed less like a road and more like a nasty river bed. It was very difficult to maintain speed.

I caught a 3 or 4 riders on this section and passed the 6XX (60+) bike who was stopped. I stopped and asked him if he needed help and he said he was fine. I was in awe that those guys were out racing. If I am able to ride after 60 I'll be the most grateful man in the world.

The descent was rougher than the uphill, but at the bottom was an extremely fun wash except for the hidden boulders. I rolled into the Locos Motos Baja Pits and ran off to take a leak. When I came back they'd fueled the bike but also slapped some stickers on my bike (after making clean spots). I joked about the sticker on the back (Locos Motos) but didn't see the one they'd slapped on the front fender. I'm not sure what it was advertising, but honestly I was a little irritated since it ended up covering up the YWCA stickers on my front fender. At Borrego I tried to tear it off but it just made a big mess.

I blew out across the lake bed going south and it was really chopped up. It was hard for me to get comfortable much above 90. I heard the pro's were tapped at 115+. Wow.

The last section Frog and I had also pre-run, so I was ready for the silt, whoops and rock whoops. I got through the silt and then in the whoops came across my friend Llyod (404x), another solo rider, on the side of the course. He said he'd gone down in the whoops and blown out his shoulder. He was hiding in the shade of a bush and pretty red faced. He said they were coming to get him and I offered some water and snacks but he said he was ok. I rode on...

The last 10 miles of the section had lots of rocks.


I felt great rolling into the Borrego pits but I wasn't sure where I would find the crew. You can tell in this picture I'm trying to figure out where I might find everyone. I found Dumbgirl waving me down right after this was taken.


They were in the gully on the left hand side of the course. Trying to ride the bowl and come in to the parking spot I lost my balance and fell over...first crash of the day, mile 190!
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:25 AM   #308
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...Lots of tight rocky parts as the trail gained elevation towards the summit. This was the time I began to think that some of my riding buddies from the east may want to reconsider their Baja dreams. The terrain was pounding and there were lots of places to catch a rock. As the trail climbed further it seemed less like a road and more like a nasty river bed. It was very difficult to maintain speed...
We do have rock gardens back East: remember the creek bed on Price Mountain and the stairway at Pulaski. Seems like there were a few rocks in the Blackwater 100 too. Of course we never really maintained any real speed and it's been a long time since I was pounding rock gardens. Maybe some actual off-road practice will be in order. Or, maybe we could ride the dry lake sections and roads and hand the bike off to the veteran for the tough stuff.

Thanks again for taking us along for this ride. I am really enjoying reading/riding along.

NX
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:37 PM   #309
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Rock Gardens and Borrego

Oh yes, I remember the east coast rock gardens, especially the slimy ones and the slimy tree roots as well. I was thinking less about you NX, and more about a couple of other friends.

I'm happy to let you go for the rocky parts!

As I said before I pulled into the Borrego pits as flagged by Dumbgirl and proceeded to dump the bike and myself in front of the world. The crew had the pit setup in the gulley and they got to work on the headlight while I packed down a PBJ and Banana.





I got back on the bike and was ready to roll away and noticed the front brake line wasn't routed correctly. It wouldn't have lasted the next 500 miles. We had to make a quick re-adjustment.



Last minute adjustment. Before I rolled off Frog told me the TT's were held up and I'd have an extra hour before they rolled over me. Hooray!



Time In: 1:16
Time Out: 1:32 (I would have never guessed I hung out for that long...time flies!)

Speed Avg up to this point ~32mph

Headed to San Felipe



I stopped at the Baja Pits on the powerline road, not because I needed much fuel, but because I had to find a bush to water. I handed the bike to the BP boys and went to find a place where I wasn't exposing myself to ladies and kids. Running around I couldn't find a place until I ran across the course and dowsed a bush. It wasn't until I was almost done I noticed the family immediately to my left laughing it up. I probably looked like a keystone cop running around until I violated their space.

After the BP stop the whoops really began. I don't remember how many miles until the trail turned south, but I began to think it might be a long section. I also got a taste of some cactus as I tried to get some relief from the whoops by venturing off course...bad idea. My right arm took a pounding from something painful. I looked down and had a huge cluster of pointed aliens stuck to my arm.

After turning south at the checkpoint, there was a few mile section of swoopy trail, then some whoops, then the Diablo Lake bed. After that more whoops welcomed me. Another 50 miles of whoops and the sun was beginning to set. I remember switching on the headlight and thinking, "Another 14 or 15 hours and the sun will be up...I'm going to be right here behind these handlebars"


Somewhere out in the whoops right before dark...

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Old 12-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #310
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Thanks for sharing Phil, I check this thread a couple times a day for the next installment
Keep up the good work, its a great read
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:59 AM   #311
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Oh yes, I remember the east coast rock gardens, especially the slimy ones and the slimy tree roots as well.......

I also got a taste of some cactus as I tried to get some relief from the whoops by venturing off course...bad idea. My right arm took a pounding from something painful. I looked down and had a huge cluster of pointed aliens stuck to my arm.
Actually, I haven't been through any decent sized rocks in a long time (unless you count slab). So I don't think I would be able to successfully traverse any real rock gardens "at speed". But this cactus thing is new to me, we don't have cactus in the East that I know of. I don't think a little briar patch would be much of a comparison. I hope your arm is okay. And if I ever get out to that part of the country for a race/ride, you'll have to remind me to stay on the trail.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:59 AM   #312
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Actually, I haven't been through any decent sized rocks in a long time (unless you count slab). So I don't think I would be able to successfully traverse any real rock gardens "at speed". But this cactus thing is new to me, we don't have cactus in the East that I know of. I don't think a little briar patch would be much of a comparison. I hope your arm is okay. And if I ever get out to that part of the country for a race/ride, you'll have to remind me to stay on the trail.
NX, you can get a pretty good taste of something very similar at the South Pedlar OHV area on the parkway, or by taking "Salt Pond Road" from Lee Highway ( Route 11 ) over to the parkway. I think those rocks were imported from Baja...
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:02 AM   #313
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Lights

P
Thanks for the report!
What light is that on the front of your bike? Did it work well?
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:38 PM   #314
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NX, you can get a pretty good taste of something very similar at the South Pedlar OHV area on the parkway, or by taking "Salt Pond Road" from Lee Highway ( Route 11 ) over to the parkway. I think those rocks were imported from Baja...
Oh, I'll have to check out Salt Pond Road on a lunch break. I haven't checked out South Pedlar because my kids aren't allowed. Thanks for the info. NX
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:22 PM   #315
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P
Thanks for the report!
What light is that on the front of your bike? Did it work well?
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